Gujarat infant rape triggers violent protests across state, over 100 arrested; Alpesh Thakor to sit on fast

On September 28, a 14-month-old girl was allegedly raped by a labourer in Dhundhor. 

Gujarat infant rape triggers violent protests across state, over 100 arrested; Alpesh Thakor to sit on fast

A week after an infant was allegedly raped by a migrant labourer in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat violent protests erupted across the state seeking the oust of migrants from the state. According to reports several migrants have been attacked by the protesters and asked to leave the state. Police had arrested the accused, Ravindra Gaande, from the village on the same day.

On September 28, a 14-month-old girl was allegedly raped by a labourer in Dhundhor. She has been admitted to the civil hospital in Ahmedabad where her condition is stated to be stable. 

Thakor Sena has been staging protests in north Gujarat targeting establishments of migrant workers and is demanding that the accused be hanged. Some members have also demanded that workers from other states should not be given jobs in Gujarat.

At least 11 FIRs were filed and over 100 people arrested for unlawful assembly, damaging properties, among other charges, in Gandhinagar, Mehsana, Sabarkantha and Aravalli district. For the last two days, people are protesting against migrant workers, taking out candle marches and observing bandh.

Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor had said on Wednesday that he will sit on a fast outside the Sabarmati Ashram on October 8 to seek justice for the girl. Thakor, a prominent OBC leader who heads 'Kshatriya Thakor Sena', said his one-day "Sadbhavna Upvaas" will be an attempt to awaken the conscience of those who are "still silent" over the rape of a girl belonging to Thakor community.

"I demand that the rape case be tried by a fast-track court. The accused should get a death sentence. I am equally amazed by the silence of intellectual citizens, who have chosen to remain silent over this issue. Where is their conscience now? So I have decided to sit on a fast to raise the issue and make people understand the pain of that little girl," Thakor said.

Members of the Thakor community, arrested by Mehsana police Tuesday on the charges of rioting over the issue, should be released immediately, he said.

A mob of around 200 persons, led by a Thakor Sena leader, stormed a factory near Vadnagar in Mehsana district Tuesday and thrashed two employees.

Inspector General of Police Mayanksinh Chavda said 20 persons have been arrested for the attack. "Since the accused is from Bihar, some elements are spreading misleading messages on social media. As a result, some persons stormed the factory and injured some employees. I appeal the Thakor community to maintain peace," Chavda had said.

Alpesh Thakor condemned the attack but also demanded that government make it mandatory for migrant workers to get a no-objection certificate from police. "I do not endorse what happened in Vadnagar. Non-Gujaratis are also Indians. I only demand that locals be given more jobs as per the state government's 80 per cent norm," the Congress MLA had added. 

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